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The Prettiest Star--Carter Sickels in Conversation with E.R. Anderson

Event date: 
Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 7:30pm to 9:00pm


Join Charis Circle Executive Director E.R. Anderson for a wide ranging pre-publication conversation with novelist Carter Sickels in celebration of The Prettiest Star. Set in 1986, a year after Rock Hudson’s death brought the news of AIDS into living rooms and kitchens across America, Lambda Literary award-winning author Carter Sickels’s second novel shines light on an overlooked part of the epidemic, those men who returned to the rural communities and families who’d rejected them. E.R. writes of the book: "I read Carter Sickels' The Prettiest Star very slowly, in part because I needed to savor the precious realism of the characters who felt like home to me, and in part because this beautiful gut punch of a novel kept taking my breath away. This is a novel about queerness, about AIDS, about the South, but mostly it is about the right of return, the right to bloom where you are planted and be buried in the soil that birthed you, no matter how queer you may be, no matter how long you've been gone. The characters are so thoughtfully drawn that even in their most selfish moments, I could not help but love them, root for them as individuals and as a family unit. I know these people, from their Aqua Net hairspray and secret cigarettes to their casseroles and cookouts. In rendering their particularities so tenderly Sickles' reminds us that if broken hearts are born out of the intimacy of belonging, sometimes they are healed by small intimacies too." You won't want to miss this conversation about the South, queerness, and home. 

This event will take place live on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. You do not need an app or any special gear, just register for the event and watch. Click here to register now. The event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Donate via this link:  Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices. As always, if you enjoy the event we ask that you buy the book from Charis via the link below.

We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.

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Event address: 
The Prettiest Star Cover Image
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781938235627
Availability: Backordered
Published: Hub City Press - May 19th, 2020

One of 2020's most acclaimed books. A Kirkus Best Fiction Book of 2020 - One of O Magazine's Best LGBT Books of 2020 - A Finalist for the Southern Book Prize - One of the Women's National Book Association's 2020 Great Group Reads Selections - EW's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 - BookRiot - Lambda Literary's - Salon - BookPage's - Garden & Gun's - Logo NewNowNext's

The Evening Hour: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608195978
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury USA - January 23rd, 2012

Most of the wealth in Dove Creek, West Virginia, is in the earth-in the coal seams that have provided generations with a way of life. Born and raised here, twenty-seven-year-old Cole Freeman has sidestepped work as a miner to become an aide in a nursing home. He's got a shock of bleached blond hair and a gentle touch well suited to the job.

Event Summary: 
Set in 1986, a year after Rock Hudson’s death brought the news of AIDS into living rooms across America, The Prettiest Star shines light on an overlooked part of the epidemic, the men who returned to the rural communities and families who’d rejected them.